He was born into a family of artists and was educated outside the islands. That opening to the world is reflected in his art. The 20th century had just begun and the continent was awash with symbolism and modernism. Nestor absorbed his influence and portrayed it in his work, mixing it with a vision of the Canaries of his birth which was the fruit of observation and imagination, Néstor Martín Fernández de la Torre (1887-1936) is the Canary Islands most erotic painter, as reflected in his “Poem of the Sea” and above all, in his unfinished, “Poem of the Earth”. However his art goes far beyond the canvas.
Throughout his life, Néstor was devoted to his most ambitious personal project: “The Poem of the Elements”, which consists of poems about the sea, the earth, fire and air. He only finished the first of these. The last two he was unable to start. “The Poem of the Sea” is the only series he could finish. It is composed of eight pictures: Mediadía and Tarde, Noche, Bajamar, Pleamar and Borrasca. Adolescent bodies of ambiguous virility swim, rest or fight with the sea. Marine creatures arise from his own mythology in which reality and imagination are mixed.
“The Poem of the Earth” was also to be composed of eight pieces: the four seasons and the four moments of the day.
Néstor was more than a painter, he moved to Madrid at the age of 15 and from 1904 he travelled around Europe to perfect his technique. He was a cosmopolitan Canarian artist when that was still a novelty. The vision of art beyond Spain’s borders was fundamental in the forming of his artistic personality.
He had exhibitions in Barcelona, Paris and Mardid and attained international fame as a decorative painter and of portraits with backgrounds of great fantasy.
After the age of 30, he returned to the Canaries and started a phase of painting in which he became interested in “Canarianism”. He designed several murals for the Casino de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Parador de Tejeda and Pueblo Canario. He also designed Gran Canaria’s folkloric dress.