The art of the story

„A Stormy Night“

Eine stürmische Nacht

The story of

Peter Konken

I’ve been a St. Pauli fan for ages. What makes me really happy at the moment is my girlfriend from Ukraine. She is 18 years younger than me and can dance incredibly well. She was a dancer in the Bolshoi Theater. Never would I have thought that at the age of 63, I would have found someone like her. I went to the Reeperbahn with her for the first time in 15 years, and we spent the whole night there. We were alone on the dance floor, and because she can move so well, people applauded.

Now I’m fine, now. I’m living my life. But I have also been on the verge of jumping into the Elbe. When you’re homeless and don’t know what to do, you often think, “Why are you even still alive?”

But I always just made it through. Thinking about my daughter helped me. I could no longer see her after the separation …

But when she was 22, she actually found me through a Hinz&Kunzt article and got in touch with me. She burned me a CD with all the memories she had of me until she was seven: with a song by Eros Ramazzotti and the pictures from when we were in Mallorca, from the first flight and New Year’s Eve. Since then, we have been in touch regularly again. I even have a granddaughter now. She is nine and always calls me “Grandpa Elbe.

I grew up in the village, where I had a normal childhood. After school, I did an apprenticeship as a carpenter, then I went on assembly. I was happy, earned good money, and was married. But because I often traveled, my marriage fell apart at some point, and I went downhill. I didn’t feel like working anymore, had to leave the house, and from then on I spent the night in my leased car. Until I was approached by a police car. My car had been put on the wanted list. Since I wasn’t paying the leasing rates, they took it away from me. I bought a tent, two sleeping bags and went to the Elbe in Hamburg. I camped there for two years. At that time I had also started selling Hinz&Kunzt.

I still sell Hinz&Kunzt. I especially like the social interactions with my customers. They also always say that I radiate such positivity, even when it’s gray outside. But yeah, what else can I do? It can only go up from here. And I’m doing great right now. Splendid. Really. I have a dream apartment and a nature reserve right on my doorstep. I spend a lot of time walking along the Elbe and watching the deer eat. And I take care of my caravan at the Baltic Sea. I got the parking space and the car as a gift from an older man. It’s my base in the summer.

More about Peter:

Text: Simone Deckner
Foto: Andreas Hornoff

30 artworks created by 30 Hinz&Künztler:innen

Just click on one of the following artworks for further information.

Am 22. November wurde ein Teil der Homeless Gallery zusammen mit zahlreichen Kunstwerken und Auktionslosen, die namhafte Künstler*innen gespendet hatten, versteigert. Mehr als 40.000 Euro kamen an diesem Abend für das Straßenmagazin Hinz&Kunzt zusammen.


Die Werke der Homeless Gallery, die im Rahmen der Auktion aufgrund der Vielzahl nicht unter den Hammer kommen konnten, können ab sofort über einen Auktions-Nachverkauf erworben werden.

Jedes Bild aus der Homeless Gallery ist ein Unikat, zu dem es ein Echtheitszertifikat gibt. Alle Erlöse des Nachverkaufs fließen vollständig an Hinz&Kunzt, die gemeinsam mit einer Hamburger Stiftung neuen Wohnraum für Obdachlose schaffen.

„Wir freuen uns sehr, über das große Interesse an der Homeless Gallery und den Lebensgeschichten ihrer Künstlerinnen und Künstler”, sagt Hinz&Kunzt Geschäftsführer Jörn Sturm. „Es zeigt, dass wir mit der Ausstellung einen Nerv getroffen haben und dass die Menschen unseren Einsatz für Obdach- und Wohnungslose schätzen. Natürlich sind wir sehr glücklich über den Erlös, den die Versteigerung eingebracht hat, und möchten uns herzlich bei allen Besucher*innen, Mitbietenden und Käufer*innen bedanken.”

Auch eine kleine Auswahl an weiteren Kunstwerken kann noch erworben werden. Der Nachverkauf-Katalog ist hier zu finden: