After it appeared in the Cooper Gallery’s 2015 group exhibition Drapetomanía, Juan Roberto Diago saw his mixed-media piece Yo soy monte (I Am the Mountain) enter the Museum of Fine Arts’ permanent collection. A few years later, the 45-year-old Cuban artist now finds himself back at the Cooper Gallery—only this time as the subject of his first major retrospective. Curator Alejandro de la Fuente scours his two-decade-plus career, in which he’s examined Cuba’s African diaspora and tackled political and social issues. Inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ed Ruscha and fellow Cubans Antonio Gattorno and Wilfredo Lam, Diago gathers plastic bottles and other materials in his neighborhood, like the metal sheet used as a canvas for Un Pedrazo de Mi Historia (A Piece of My History), seen above. Diago: The Pasts of This Afro-Cuban Present, which also makes use of photographs of friends and family and wooden planks from shanty structures, is on display through May 5.