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Ernie Paniccioli started photographing Hip Hop culture in the mid 1970s. His initial focus was aerosol art. He also documented other aspects of Hip Hop culture including MCing (rapping), B-Boying (Break Dancing), DJing, and fashion.

Paniccioli holds a unique place amoung aerosol art photographers. While many photographers focused primarly on the paintings done on the subway, Paniccioli ventured directly into the communities that gave birth to Hip Hop. Traditionaly many aerosol artists first tested their skills by painting on walls before subway cars. Paniccioli documented work by many artists in their transitional phases; as well as many other talented artists that did not make the step to subway painting.

Paniccioli probably has the most comprehensive collection of works by 1980's New York City "Street Writers" in the world. His commitment to documenting Hip Hop led to a position as Chief Photographer with Word Up! magazine at its launch in 1987. His work has ben published in The New York Times, Life Magazine, Time, Vibe, Rolling Stone, The Source and many other publications. His photographs have been displayed at The Brooklyn Museum of Art and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has photographed countless Hip Hop icons including Public Enemy, and the late Big Pun (christopher Rios). Paniccioli's work appears in the Harper Collins book titled Who Shot Ya?.

Interview with Ernie Paniccioli Conducted by @149st October 27, 2001.

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