There are a few different ways in which this painting relates to the broader theme of memories in Cuba as well as the social issues that face Cubans today. First, the cobbler is someone who is self-employed within an economic and political system in which self-employment is often difficult to sustain and penalized by the government. The vast majority of Cubans work in jobs that come from the government in one way or another, whether that be a traditional government job in an office or working as a server in a state-owned restaurant. The salaries for these jobs are notoriously low and have little chance of advancement. Self-employment, then, is often needed for families to survive even if it is not the main source of income.
Francisco the Cobbler
39 ¼ x 47 ¼ inches
Newspaper, charcoal and acrylic paint on canvas.