Nina Levett painted Nude Self Portrait in 2006. It marked a change in her style and reflects a particular period of her life. Around this time Nina Levett had moved to Vienna in order to pursue her career as an artist and designer. She was newly single and coping with the demands of being a single mother to two young children. During this period she met many interesting Viennese artists and designers, and co-curated an exhibition entitled ‘Right Here’. Through the exhibition she hoped to create a design network in Vienna. Although the exhibition was a success, the project ultimately failed, resulting in broken friendships that further exacerbated Nina Levett’s feelings of confusion and loneliness.
Nina Levett painted the ‘Nude Self Portrait’ in this period to serve two purposes. On the one hand, it represented a physical manifestation of the vulnerability and uncertainty that she was feeling. In that sense it served a therapeutic purpose for her. On the other hand, it served a practical role and was the image that Nina Levett used to present herself to the world. She used it on her first website, and on the dating sites she was using in order to find a new relationship for herself. In this sense it was a positive and life-affirming statement and marked the beginning of a more optimistic period of her life.