The art of the story

„My island“

Meine Insel

The story of

Gerrit Keitel

I took my first steps holding onto a dog – other kids pull themselves up by the table or chair, I pulled myself up by a dog. This is my fourth dog and also my last. After that, no more. I’ve been retired for nine years. And I don’t want to have such a tiny, little puppy. Doesn’t quite fit.

I’m not planning on getting old. I always thought it’ll be over at 50. I’m a depressed borderliner. There was a time when I didn’t think as far as 50. Now, I could be convinced to turn 55.

I am from Flensburg but have lived in Hamburg forever. Since I was 16. I didn’t have a very nice childhood. And no, I won’t answer any questions about that. The people who know that I am a depressed borderliner can imagine what kind of childhood I had.

I once learned to be a butcher and once a child care worker. Hard physical labor and you always have something to eat. And I mean, you have immediate results. Architects sit in front of their computer screens for three weeks, or even earlier work on paper, drawing a line here and a line there, and they don’t make any progress. But when the cold storage is full all at once, then you see that too.

I had an accident at work, a pretty serious one. Then I thought, oh yes, child care worker wouldn’t be so bad. At first I wanted to work with young people, but then I did an internship at the “Come In” in Moorfleet. Do you know the facility? There are 12-year-old girls there who can tell you all about their two-year career in prostitution. At twelve. And then I didn’t want to do youth work anymore. It was too hard for me, I took too much home with me.

Then I got really sick. My girlfriend at the time and I broke up. I couldn’t get anything going anymore. And having an apartment in St. Pauli… Apartments are in high demand there. Well, then the apartment was gone.

Actually, that was just the reason why I came to Hinz&Kunzt. But I also enjoy it. And earning money is always good, too.

When I lost the apartment, I fortunately still had enough money. I then went to Globetrotter and bought myself some decent equipment. Proper backpack, proper sleeping pad, proper sleeping bag and so on. So I did not go from this point to that half-naked on the street and grabbed a dog. It was okay…

I brought myself a husky from Toronto. I was on vacation in Canada. And then daddy dog and mommy dog ran ahead and six little ones followed behind. And then there was a seventh little one.

I can live on a deserted island just fine. However, there has to be a dog there. I couldn’t do without one. I loved being alone with the dog in the forest as a child. Anything to not be at home!

I live in nature, in the middle of a city. A nice Sunday would look like this: going to Wittenberge by dawn and walking to Övelgönne. In the mornings, there aren’t any people at the beach, yet. And if you do encounter anyone, they usually have their dogs with them.

I’m just a typical guy from northern Germany. I’m completely fine with just shutting up for three days straight. I like bad weather, I like good weather, too. Once a year, I need to go on a sunny vacation, which, unfortunately, was cancelled – the last few years. Preferably watching the sunrise while enjoying a cup of coffee, having breakfast at some point, sitting at the beach, and reading a book. Look at the water. Take a boat out on the ocean a couple of times. And do nothing else.

More about Gerrit:

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: