Still, there are some instructive dialogues being had about the actual meaning of landmark status and what it would mean to have these types of objects officially considered as works of art. Artist Damien Davis, an alum of the Art & Law Program, points to some real risks and specific concerns about calling for special preservation status for the prototypes as artworks somehow authored by the President. He told me that:
As an aesthetic experience, I think [the prototypes] are really impactful, and there is no denying that they will always have historical significance. Also, a retroactive declaration that the works are “artworks” by someone other than the creative force behind it may have some serious implications on other forms of work that have a creative component to it, like making a cake [this in reference to Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case of the baker who denied a gay couple a wedding cake on religious grounds]. Declaring it an artistic statement by Trump is the real sticking point for me, one that I think could have dangerous implications.
In a way not dissimilar to Trump, Büchel has a long history of prodding sacred cows for attention and effect. This may constitute no more grave an offense than being a generally boring and unsavory way of going about things; in this instance perhaps it’s touched a little too closely on a space where lives are at stake.