Second Saturday Art Walk: January's Five Most Exciting Shows

What better way for the Design District's 101/Exhibit to cap its year than with a grotesque display of terrifying creatures? After all, 2012 was a monster year for the space's owners, who expanded to a second location in L.A.'s West Hollywood neighborhood in October.

That kind of bicoastal success was far from guaranteed when Sloan Shaffer opened the space just as the recession hit in 2008. "You had Sloan talking about opening a gallery in that economic climate, and I thought it was perhaps a little unhinged," says Kevin Van Gorp, the gallery's director. "But his enthusiasm swayed me."

That enthusiasm is on full display in the gallery's latest show, one of the highlights of this month's Second Saturday Art Walk beginning at 6 p.m. this weekend.

Our picks for the culture crawl's top exhibits feature everything from fiendish photo collages to a dissection of the banal, a collection of paper bag portraits, and a trio of artists' eclectic vision of sculpture.

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Carlos Suarez De Jesus