03/29/2012 03:34 pm ET

Kevin Cyr Glorifies Rundown Vans Around New York (PHOTOS)

Rust and graffiti-covered vans are Kevin Cyr's muse. The dingier, the better for the artist who paints portraits of retro (read: dirty, old) vans he stumbles upon in New York.

“It has to be the right vintage," Cyr said in an interview with the New York Times' Wheels Blog. "I love it when it is covered in dents and dings and there’s rust. It has to have the right amount of graffiti. The more character the van has, the more fun it is to paint.”

The vans, mostly from Brooklyn and Queens, are all the type you probably wouldn't want to pass too closely too on the street, but Cyr calls them the "workhorses of the city."

Despite their unappealing aesthetic in reality, in art, the vans have traded in their worn-out axels for oil paints and portraiture.

The van series will be featured in a solo exhibition in May at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York.

Click through below for a slideshow of Kevin Cyr's Vans: