"Carol Diehl's impassioned, lucid, and fascinating book Banksy: Completed
was published in 2021. Anyone interested in contemporary art should read it. It made me radically reevaluate my take on the anonymous provocateur, whose 2013 one-month New York "residency" I had totally ignored. Like most people involved in the serious (ahem) art world, I had taken Banksy for a reasonably clever, certainly daring, but ultimately shallow performer of some kind of brand, kind of a parody of an artist. I couldn't have been more wrong."
–Cocoa the Journal of Cornwall Contemporary Art
"In this first in-depth analysis of anonymous activist, filmmaker, and street artist Banksy, Diehl (scholar and art critic) offers a rich discussion of the antiauthoritarian artist. Banksy emerged in Bristol, UK, in the 1990s in the underground scene, with its public antiestablishment art that often targeted fascism, surveillance, capitalism, and consumerism. Though Banksy produced documentation of his work with publications in 2001, 2002, and 2005 and the film Exit through the Gift Shop
(2010), Diehl examines Banksy's works and reminds readers that viewers, critics, scholars, and the public are essential to the work. They complete it. Diehl rightly critiques the art world's annoyance and indignation with an artist whose success has captured attention within and beyond the art world despite, or because, the art resides outside representation and the dealer-auction-market system that has prevailed over three centuries. Rather than incorporate traditional footnotes, Diehl includes citations, in order of appearance, beneath each chapter heading in the back matter. Perhaps such a construction is Diehl's own act of resistance, taking cues from Banksy's forms of critique and self-expression. Marked by rich illustrations and absorbing prose, this volume will interest those studying contemporary art, street art and graffiti, art markets, material culture, and visual culture. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals."
"Looks [at] the dramas that unfold after Banksy's artworks are discovered around the world... Gorgeous, well researched."