With solo shows everywhere from White Cube in London to doCUMENTA(13) in Germany to the MCA this May, this sculptor/performer is splattering his native city all over the international art canvas. His most ambitious work yet is a blueprint for a complex in Grand Crossing that would house a performance space, a restaurant, and the Ebony and Jet archives. Touted as a creative solution for community revitalization, the plan awaits the city's last stamp of approval. Gates is close to getting his yes—and having the power to make an indelible imprint on the South Side.
Photograph: CHUCK BERMAN/CHICAGO TRIBUNE