There seems to be some confusion regarding the terms surreal, surrealist and surrealistic. When to use which?
If you use surrealist as a noun, it is simply an artist who is a member of the surrealism movement.
Surrealism being a style of art and literature developed principally in the 20th century, stressing the subconscious or non-rational significance of imagery arrived at by automatism or the exploitation of chance effects, unexpected juxtapositions, etc. (Definition source: dictionary)
If surrealist is used as an adjective, it still refers to the 20th century art movement.
Surrealistic means like an artwork of the surrealism movement (“having features typical or reminiscent of those depicted in surrealistic painting or drawing”), while surreal has a more general application: “having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic”
The three terms are so closely related and similar that it is still possible for confusion to arise, despite the verbal definition, so perhaps a few visuals can help illustrate the difference between these terms.
Surrealist artworks are always also surreal as well as surrealistic, but they are more strictly pertaining to the art movement (surrealism).
So let us split hairs and see what else we can discover.
Surrealistic artworks are always surreal but not necessarily surrealist, though they can be that too.
Surreal artworks can be surrealist and/or surrealistic, but don’t have to be either.
I hope this has helped shed at least some light on this surreal subject matter.
As for me and my artworks, out of these three particular choices, I choose to classify them as surreal paintings. I like to keep things simple and clear, and sur-real my paintings most certainly are.
Lastly, I’d like to close with the following statement: surrealism rocks. Whether today or a 80 years ago, surrealism lives on, because it is bigger than any manifesto. We can twist the name or invent new ones, but at heart of it all, you will find surrealism.